“This time, Mr. Bond, the pleasure will be all mine!”
This is just one of the clichéd, and in places bordering on the absurd lines that the assassin Ksenia Onatop (the last name is a play on the English expression for “above”) exchanges with agent 007 in the film “The Golden Eye” (1995).
The actress who plays the role – Dutch Famke Jansen – then had little idea of what would follow from being a Bond girl.
“Sometimes I feel incredibly misunderstood. It’s the dichotomy of the way I look and what’s going on inside,” the actress admits more than a quarter of a century later, when behind her are appearances in the X-Men series and the action Taken (” Too Personal”) with Liam Neeson.
According to Jansen, the misconception about her stems from her playing a “crazy killer” in a Bond film. In The Golden Eye, her Xenia is another hypersexual female character, and her crowning achievement is to squeeze Bond, played there by Pierce Brosnan, in a death grip between her legs. Not to mention the obligatory Russian accent.
“All my friends and family know that I’m funny and sensitive and that I play all these characters that are so different from that. Other people probably think I’m just playing myself,” Jansen told the Independent.
At first glance, “Golden Eye” is the big break for Jansen, who at 19 left her native Amsterdam to become a model.
After gracing the covers of magazines such as Elle, Marie Claire and Mirabella at the end of the 80s, she decided to leave modeling and enrolled in “Creative Writing” at Columbia University. He pays his bills with small acting engagements.
Jansen in 2003 with his X-Men 2 co-stars Rebecca Romijn (left) and Kelly Hu (right)
Undoubtedly, she got the most attention when she was cast in the movie as Agent 007. However, this also comes with a lot of negatives. At first, with the “Bond girl” stigma, which leads to suggestions of one-size-fits-all femme fatale roles.
“I already had to deal with the stereotype of being a model, but then I added another thing: a model-turned-actress-turned-Bond girl,” she laughs.
That’s why she accepts roles in several different projects. Such, for example, is “Criminal City” (City of Industry, 1997), where she plays a housewife from the working class. But even then, she’s not sure she’s right for the role. Her co-star Harvey Keitel even asked her, “Can you even do laundry?”.
“Trust me: I’m from the bottom. I’ve made it on my own. I’ve cleaned toilets, I’ve worked in bars… this whole notion that I’m some kind of shiny movie star is not even close to the truth,” says the actress.
According to her, the decision to take a different path was completely conscious.
“I had to create [актьорско] longevity, to work on the craft. I could have been much more famous and made much more money if I had accepted everything that was offered to me at that time. But that’s never been the way I do things,” says the Dutch woman.
In this period, the late 90s, he participated in a number of crime films, but also in more diverse productions such as the comedy drama “Love and Sex”, where he partnered with Joe Favreau (later director of “Iron Man” and creator of The Mandalorian), the horror House on Haunted Hill, where her heroine is in a crumbling marriage to a rich man, and The Faculty, where she is a teacher at a school under alien invasion.
Jansen in 2017 about her starring role in The Blacklist: Redemption
The actress describes herself as very secretive when it comes to her dealings with the press, and says she realized a long time ago that she didn’t want people to know anything about her. It all starts again with the Bond film.
“Honestly, after ‘Golden Eye,’ I felt like I was thrown to the wolves,” says Jansen.
The film was released in the mid-90s, at the height of the media digging into the dirty laundry of celebrities – well-known or completely new like her. This leads to a huge amount of attention, both good and bad.
“I realize every actor in the world thinks they can control the press, but in the end the press always wins. I decided I’d rather be less famous and do things my way. That means not making as much money , as much as other people. I don’t go out on [романтични] meeting famous people. I’m not on social media…” explains the actress.
“Fame has a price, and I didn’t want to pay it,” adds Jansen.
Still, the actress rose to fame with the role, which to some extent erases the memory of her past as a Bond girl. It is about Jansen’s participation in X-Men (2000). In director Bryan Singer’s superhero film, she played telepath Jean Grey, who is torn between her relationship with Cyclops (James Marsden) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).
This seems to be the peak of the career of the Dutch woman – she played Jean Gray in both sequels of the film, and then appeared twice more briefly in the role in subsequent films of the X-Men franchise.
Her most notable appearances after that have been mainly in television – in series such as Hemlock Grove, How to Get Away with Murder and The Blacklist: Redemption, while her film career has been rather varied, but more low-budget titles, some of which don’t even make it to the big screen.
If nothing else, at least the Dutch woman is no longer “killing” men on screen by squeezing them between her legs.